In 2023 there will be a referendum, for an Indigenous Voice to Parliament to be enshrined in the Constitution.
This webpage aims to provide a source of truth for students, staff, and the wider public.
Here you will find links to information, opinion and perspective on the Referendum from Tasmanian, National and International perspectives that will be curated over coming months with an emphasis on maintaining a collection of critical, balanced and reliable sources.
The University intends for this web resource to continue beyond 2023 as a key mechanism for promoting and communicating our contribution to the important national task of responding to the Referendum outcome.
Voice to Truth
Island of Ideas Public talk series
Explore the Voice to Parliament Referendum with our commentators and experts at this free event.
In 2017 the Uluru Statement from the Heart was made by national Indigenous leaders. It sets out an urgent agenda for Voice Treaty Truth that cannot be reduced to its separate parts.
A codesign process with the Australian Government and led by Professor Marcia Langton and Professor Tom Calma has developed details from the Uluru Statement for the proposed Voice to Parliament. The final report provides guidance for the Voice to Parliament to be considered by the Australian parliament.
An Australian constitutional referendum will be held in 2023 that will ask the people of Australia if they agree to the insertion of new words into the Australian constitution. If a “yes” vote is received, the Australian parliament can then legislate the Voice to Parliament.
The University is committed to the principles outlined in the Uluru Statement from the Heart as a basis for the proposed constitutional reform and other reform agendas. These principles affirm Indigenous ancestral ties to the land, and that Indigenous sovereignty has never been ceded or extinguished.
The University will work with Indigenous leaders to contribute to this debate in Tasmania through its reach, networks, and by holding discussion events in the lead up to the referendum.
Members of University Council, Academic Senate and the University Executive Team affirm their commitment to a yes vote.
The University respects the diversity of views in the Tasmania Aboriginal community and Australian Indigenous communities across the country.
Members of the University community are free to express their views and are protected by our academic freedom and free speech policy (PDF 164.8 KB).
The University calls on all Tasmanians to engage with this conversation and to do so in a manner that is respectful and inclusive.
As a University community we accept a shared responsibility to nurture and support students and staff over the course of these political debates.
Reconciliation Tasmania endorses the Uluru Statement from the Heart and accepts the invitation to walk alongside the First Peoples of Australia in their quest for recognition and the establishment of a Voice to Parliament. RT has embarked on a state-wide campaign to inform, educate and provide clarity about the Uluru Statement and Voice and Makarrata proposals for Tasmanians ahead of this year’s referendum. For further information visit Reconciliation Tasmania.
- Indigenous Voice Co-design Process
The report proposes the establishment of an Indigenous Voice to the Australian Parliament and Government based on extensive feedback gathered from over 9,400 people and organisations across Australia. The proposed Indigenous Voice aims to enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to participate in genuine shared decision-making with governments at the local and regional level and have their voices heard in policy and law making. It is intended to complement and amplify existing structures, not replace them. The report argues that establishing an Indigenous Voice will lead to better policy outcomes, strengthen legislation and programs, and provide a mechanism for diverse perspectives and experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to be considered.
- Uluru Statement from the Heart
The Uluru Statement from the Heart is a statement issued in 2017 by Indigenous Australian leaders who called for the constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians, a "First Nations Voice" to be enshrined in the Australian Constitution, and the establishment of a Makarrata Commission to oversee agreement-making and treaty-making between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. The statement also includes a call for the recognition of Indigenous Australians as the First Peoples of Australia. The "Voice to Parliament" proposal within the statement aims to establish an advisory body made up of Indigenous leaders to provide advice and input to the Australian Parliament on matters that affect Indigenous Australians.
- ABC in depth - Everything you need to know about the voice
ABC takes a deep dive into everything you need to know about the Voice.
- Michael Mansell - OPINION: Depending on your reasons, it’s okay to oppose the Voice
Mansell's article criticises Australia's pro-Voice campaign strategy and argues that there are better alternatives to the proposed Voice model, such as giving Indigenous Australians decision-making power in Parliament or establishing a national Treaty. Mansell also believes that the Voice model marginalises Aboriginal people's sovereignty and has no practical power to help them. The article suggests that there are sensible reasons for opposition to the Voice, and not all opposition is rooted in racism or anti-Aboriginal sentiment.
- Ian Anderson - Contesting the progressive case for no
Anderson argues that the upcoming referendum for an Indigenous Voice to Parliament should be viewed through the lens of grassroots activism and the intentions of those who drafted the Uluru Statement from the Heart. He criticises Senator Lidia Thorpe's decision to cut ties with the Greens and her belief that treaty should precede voice, arguing that treaty processes are already in progress and that the Voice to Parliament would strengthen accountability and hold future governments to account. Anderson also rejects the "progressive case for no" and argues that a no vote would reject recognition and consultation, and be a slap in the face to 50 years of black activism in Australia.
- Reconciliation Tasmania - Rec Tas information page
This is a link to the reconciliation Tasmania page regarding the referendum. Rec Tas advocates for a yes vote and lays its position out.
- Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre - Uluru Statement of the Heart – thoughts on the Voice
The TAC expresses concerns about the lack of transparent and ongoing discussions with the Aboriginal community regarding the proposed "First Nations Voice," which they view as the cart before the horse scenario. The Centre also questions the potential limitations of the current Voice model, which they believe lacks the power to make and enforce decisions. They argue that without clear communication and education, a referendum on the Voice may not succeed and may not meet the aspirations of Aboriginal people. The Centre emphasises the importance of developing truth-telling processes and consulting with the Aboriginal community to inform the development of a treaty that would set the operating parameters for the Voice or any other process put in place to implement the treaty agreement. The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre also highlights the need for constitutional reforms and structural reforms to address the structural nature of the problems faced by Indigenous Australians.
- Rodney Dillon - Aussies capable of ‘mature’ Voice debate: Aboriginal leader
This article is from The Mercury reports on comments made by Tasmanian Aboriginal leader Rodney Dillon. Dillon expressed his belief that Australia is capable of having a mature debate about the issue and that it is time to recognise the rights of Indigenous peoples. He also noted that the establishment of a Voice would promote greater understanding and respect between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and would be a positive step towards reconciliation. The article highlights the ongoing debate surrounding the First Nations Voice and the differing opinions on the issue.
- Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre - Symbolism, Assimilation Had Their Day
- The University of Tasmania - Our research has shown Indigenous peoples’ needs cannot be understood and met, without Indigenous voices
- Reconciliation Australia - Voice to Parliament, A First Nations Voice to Parliament protected by the Constitution is a key element of the Uluru Statement from the Heart
The article provides details about the proposed referendum question. The article explains that a Referendum is needed to establish the Indigenous Voice and outlines the work that has been done so far. The article also describes what will be added to the Constitution and the guiding principles of the Voice. Finally, the article discusses the public support for the Indigenous Voice, as shown in the Australian Reconciliation Barometer.
- Centrecare - A guide to talking about the Voice to Parliament
The document discusses the importance of sparking conversations about the proposed establishment of an Indigenous Voice to the Australian Parliament and Government, which requires a successful referendum. The article emphasises the need for supporters of the Voice to engage in conversations with friends, family, colleagues, and others in their communities to explain the concept and why it is important. The article also provides details about the proposed addition to the Constitution and the proposed referendum question. The article argues that open and respectful conversations can help bring more Australians on board with the idea of constitutional recognition through a Voice to Parliament.
- Megan Davis - The Voice to Parliament: Megan Davis | 10 minute Genius - Ep 6 | ABC Australia
Professor Megan Davis, Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous at the University of New South Wales, is advocating for constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians through the Uluru Statement from the Heart. Professor Davis highlights the urgency of this issue, citing the lack of recognition for over a century, the government's inability to address the disadvantage faced by Indigenous Australians, and the passing of the older generation who seek peace for their country. The Uluru Statement invites all Australians to join Indigenous Australians in a movement towards a better future. As she emphasises, the success of the referendum will significantly improve the lives of Indigenous Australians on the ground.
- Anthony Albanese - IN FULL: Anthony Albanese speaks at the launch of 14,000km marathon Voice campaign
Albanese lays out the Government’s position on the voice. The Government has expressed support for the establishment of the Voice to Parliament. Labor has argued that the Voice would give Indigenous Australians a stronger say in decision-making processes that affect their communities and would be an important step towards reconciliation.
- Peter Dutton - Peter Dutton confirms the Liberal Party will oppose the Voice to Parliament
Peter Dutton’s Liberal party has resolved to oppose the Indigenous voice to parliament, claiming it would create a “Canberra voice” with a membership of academics. Dutton will actively campaign against the Indigenous voice referendum, directing his frontbench to oppose the proposal
- Ken Wyatt - Ken Wyatt on why he quit the Liberal Party over its opposition to an Indigenous Voice | 7.30
Ken Wyatt, former minister for Indigenous Australians and a prominent Indigenous figure in recent Liberal politics, has spoken out in support of the Voice to Parliament proposal, stating that it is essential for the Voice to speak directly to government, and that his former colleagues should have "no reason to be afraid" of the proposal. He resigned from the Liberal Party less than 24 hours after Peter Dutton announced that the party would oppose the Voice, saying that he had to weigh up his love for the party against its stubborn position of not wanting to give Aboriginal people a seat at the table. Mr Wyatt is part of the working group on the referendum and would be "deeply saddened" if the Voice was defeated at the referendum.
- ABC - South Australia's historic Indigenous Voice to Parliament has passed, but what happens now?
South Australia has passed a bill to establish an Indigenous Voice to Parliament, becoming the first jurisdiction in Australia to do so. The Voice will consist of 12 members elected by the state's Indigenous population, and they will have the ability to speak on whichever pieces of legislation they choose. However, the Voice will not have a vote. SA Premier Peter Malinauskas hopes that the Voice will lead to positive change in the long-term, but acknowledges that improvements will be gradual. The SA Liberal Party did not support the legislation, with opposition leader David Speirs expressing doubts about the effectiveness of the Voice. The bill can be reviewed and changed or abolished by future governments, as it is not enshrined in the state's constitution.
- Australian Human Rights Commission - Support for Uluru Statement from the Heart
The Australian Human Rights Commission affirms its support for the Voice proposal, arguing that ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' right to participate in decision making is fundamental to achieving better outcomes for Indigenous Australians. They assert that the reforms proposed in the Uluru Statement will require future federal governments to listen to the perspectives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples when making decisions that relate to them. The Commission acknowledges that there may be diverse views among the Australian community about the Voice proposal, and different views should be respected in this debate. They emphasise the importance of upholding human rights to equality and non-discrimination in any national representative process resulting from the Voice and highlight the Commission's willingness to contribute to the design process if the referendum is successful.
- Coalition of peaks - A voice to parliament
The Coalition of Peaks, a group representing Indigenous Australians, endorses efforts to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through their own pathways that promote self-determination. They believe that a more reconciled nation is crucial to implementing the National Agreement on Closing the Gap. Additionally, the Coalition of Peaks supports the proposed establishment of a Constitutionally enshrined Voice to ensure that Indigenous Australians have a say in matters that affect them, which is consistent with the goals of the National Agreement. The Coalition of Peaks believes that the Voice, along with Truth Telling and Treaty, will provide a comprehensive roadmap to enhance the life outcomes of Indigenous Australians, without diminishing the work of governments or community-controlled peak bodies and organisations.
- Universities Australia - Statement on the upcoming referendum
This statement shows that Universities Australia supports the referendum to establish a First Nations Voice in the Constitution. The organisation believes the voice will give Indigenous Australians more say in laws and policies affecting them. As key institutions of knowledge and research, universities are well-placed to educate people on major social and political issues. Universities Australia will work with members to promote and facilitate discussions across the sector on the First Nations Voice proposal. The organisation is dedicated to achieving fairness and justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples beyond this campaign. However, it will be guided by debates around the constitutional change.
- ABC - Voice to Parliament referendum triggers different views among Indigenous Australians
Indigenous Australians hold varying opinions on the proposed Voice to Parliament referendum in Australia. Some support it, while others oppose it, with concerns ranging from the selection of the right people to lead it, to fears of division and legal challenges.
- The Guardian - What is the Indigenous voice to parliament, how would it work, and what happens next?
This article discusses the controversy surrounding the proposed Voice to Parliament referendum. The article presents diverse opinions from Indigenous Australians regarding the Voice, highlighting the potential benefits of the proposed body, including empowering community-led representation and advising the government on issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The article also provides details about the proposed Voice's structure and the upcoming referendum, offering hope for progress in recognising and addressing the needs of Indigenous Australians.
- The Conversation - What do we know about the Voice to Parliament design, and what do we still need to know?
This article discusses the ongoing debate over the proposed First Nations Voice referendum in Australia. While some politicians criticise the lack of detail in the proposal, others argue that the referendum is about principle, not specifics. The article emphasises the importance of involving Indigenous Australians in the process of designing the Voice and ensuring its cultural legitimacy.
- Amy Mcquire - The black 'no' campaign is not Jacinta Price and Warren Mundine
The article criticises the 'no' campaign against the proposed Voice to Parliament for Indigenous Australians, equating it with black conservatives such as Senator Jacinta Price and former ALP National President Warren Mundine. The article argues that Mundine's opposition to the Voice is hypocritical given his past role in the Howard government's National Indigenous Council, which helped dismantle self-determination and seize control from traditional owner groups. The article also criticises Price for her harmful rhetoric on child sexual abuse in the Northern Territory and argues that the black conservative 'no' campaign undermines a more sophisticated 'no' campaign from other Indigenous Australians who have legitimate concerns about the Voice's design and representation. The article concludes that the black conservative 'no' campaign should not be given air time because they have had a voice for years in parliament or as members of racist governments.
- The Guardian - Who is Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, and how did she become a central player in the voice referendum?
Jacinta Price, a newly appointed shadow minister and conservative senator for the Australian Northern Territory, has become the central figure in the campaigning against the Indigenous voice to parliament referendum. Price, a Warlpiri-Celtic woman, has controversially claimed that some people falsely claim to be Indigenous and that the referendum will exploit Aboriginal communities. Price has also been a regular guest on Sky News, a contributor to The Australian newspaper, and a political commentator. In November 2022, she was a prominent figure at the press conference in which the National party announced its opposition to the voice.
- The Centre for Independent Studies - Do we really need an Indigenous ‘voice’ to parliament?
- Recognise a Better Way
Recognise a Better Way presents an alternative solution to the Albanese government's proposed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice in the Australian Constitution.
- The Guardian - Voice referendum: who’s behind the yes and no campaigns and how do they plan to convince Australia?
- RMIT ABC Fact Check - No campaign accused of misrepresenting First Nations commentators in youth-targeted advertisements
- United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) - UNDRIP
UNDRIP sets out the minimum standards for the survival, dignity, and well-being of Indigenous peoples. It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2007, and has been endorsed by many countries, including Australia. UNDRIP and the Voice in the Australian Constitution share a common goal of recognising and protecting the rights of Indigenous peoples. UNDRIP outlines the individual and collective rights of Indigenous peoples, while the Voice seeks to provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians with a stronger say in decision-making processes that affect their communities. The voice aligns with UNDRIP as both initiatives aim to promote greater equality, respect, and understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians by acknowledging and respecting the rights of Indigenous peoples.
- Sami Parliament - About the Sami Parliament
The Sami Parliament is a representative body for the Sami people in Norway, Sweden, and Finland. It is responsible for promoting and safeguarding the Sami language, culture, and rights, and has the power to make decisions in certain areas. If the Voice to parliament were to be established in the Australian Constitution, it would share similarities with the Sami Parliament in Norway, Sweden, and Finland. Both bodies are representative organisations that advocate for the rights of their respective Indigenous peoples and have decision-making power in certain areas. The First Nations Voice aims to give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians a stronger say in decision-making processes that affect their communities, similar to how the Sami Parliament gives the Sami people a voice in decision-making processes that affect their communities.
- The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada - About the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada was established to address the racist legacy of Canadian residential schools. The Commission has been successful in raising awareness about the legacy of residential schools and promoting healing and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. If the Voice is passed in Australia, it has the potential to promote a similar reconciliation effort. By giving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians a stronger say in decision-making processes that affect their communities, the Voice may be a step to address historical injustices experienced by Indigenous Australians and promote greater understanding and respect between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations.
Videos for Voice to Parliament
Why is a Referendum needed? | Learning with From the Heart (5.3 Minutes)
Voice to Parliament - what does it mean? (Jan 2023) (2.3 Minutes)
Jack Latimore breaks down what's involved in a Voice to Parliament.
Indigenous voice to parliament: what is it and how would it work? (8.3 Minutes) - The Guardian Australia
Indigenous affairs reporter Sarah Collard explains what we know so far about how the Albanese government hopes to enshrine an Indigenous voice in the constitution and what it means for all Australians.
How Will a Voice to Parliament Help Indigenous Australians? | Q+A (13 Minutes)
What tangible impact would an Indigenous Voice have for those who live in north-east Arnhem Land and other remote communities? ( Indigenous Panel includes Linda Burney, Minister for Indigenous Australians and Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, Country Liberal Senator for NT.
Thomas Mayo responds to the launch of the No campaign Jan 2023 (5.5 Minutes)
Thomas Mayo on Sky News discusses the launch of the No campaign, how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were extensively consulted and the majority agreed (and still do) that constitutional recognition should come through a Voice to Parliament.
History is calling (1 minute)
Vote Yes to support a Voice to Parliament, so that First Nations peoples can have a say on matters that affect them. The Sept 2022 Ad that launched the Yes Campaign.
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